The translation of Open Admin into other languages is done by replacing all English text in html pages and scripts with values from a translation table.
There will be no 'language lookup' during normal program operation since this will slow down program operation. Instead, the HTML files are generated from html templates, with the text to be replaced marked with tags. Every script (or nearly every script as of the 3.50 release) has a section at the top of the file called %lex and it contains the lexicon of phrases and matching, possibly translated, values. The translation process will replace the English words with equivalent phrases in other languages.
The translation tools are located on the Start/End of Year page and have the following roles:
Another important reason for this is for the sharing of your translation with others. You can email this to others or the Open Admin site to allow others to benefit from your work.
There are several options to control what is rebuilt. The first is HTML which rebuilds all of the web page (HTML files) using the templates in your templates/html folder. The encoding option controls what kind of the encoding/character set is used for the characters on these pages. The second is the meta table for controlling the naming of student and staff fields in scripts, etc. The third and fourth are the scripts in the main admin site (cgi) and teacher site (tcgi).
As time goes on, the phrases in the phrase table will change as the underlying scripts and html files change. The extract phrases script will be able to remove phrases that no longer exist in the underlying files. As well, the translation table will also have to change to match the changes in the phrases table. The translation process will be, to a limited extent, an ongoing process. The translation hints table will also have to match the underlying phrases, so that as phrases disappear and new ones are added, the hints table will also have to be updated by the translation scripts. Phrases would normally only disappear as phrases are streamlined to reduce the number of phrases and the associated translation work. New phrases will appear as new features are added to OA.
In summary, these scripts should allow the user to control the language use in OA. Other settings in the configuration files must be changed in order to complete the process of translation. One important setting there controls the encoding in the scripts, just like the encoding/character set setting in the HTML pages.